Startup Weekend, Cloud Wise Academy & Project Hometown: helping Shasta County thrive

We talk about Start-up Weekend and discuss an interview with Rodrick Dusio. We finish this episode by explaining what Project Hometown is about and how it can help Shasta County to thrive in an E-commerce environment. 

Joe: So what I want to talk about is Startup Weekend which happened a few weeks ago. About 80 plus people show up at the Shasta Venture Hub, they of came up with different business ideas. Entrepreneurs will pitch their idea and then I think everybody kind of votes.

I saw online where this girl wanted to build a lunchbox that was insulated and someone ran over to a metal shop and made a model of the lunchbox that actually worked. So it’s that kind of thing. And I think the idea is to show entrepreneurs that less talking and more doing. And you can do some pretty amazing things.

Joe: It’s also about building a team. I mean these teams come together that day most have hardly ever met or never met. They come together and that entrepreneur has for how to get those people to get something done. Well this one was especially profound for me by proxy. I didn’t go to it. I went to the last one. But one of my students went to this one. Rod, who before he started working for me and before he took a course at Cloud Wise Academy, he was a pizza delivery guy and he’s one of the brightest developers I’ve ever met. He is so bright. He’s like these young kids who just get it. I’m telling you this kid just gets it. So he ended up going to Startup Redding and his team won. His team actually won Startup Weekend and I want to play a little video of Jake, our project manager interviewing him. It is kind of cute. They obviously are trying to pitch Cloud Wise Academy in the video, so I apologize for that. The business name is Elevate Adventure, It’s hiking food that’s healthy and the packaging is biodegradable. In three days this business came together, website was built and they won. So what I want to do is play that video just because I’m so dang proud of them.

Jake Interviews Rod, the web developer on the 2017 Redding Startup Weekend winning team. from Joe Mckenna on Vimeo.

Jake: So I’m here with Rod and he’s going to tell me a little bit about Startup Weekend, how he got into this etc.. So Rod, what were you doing before you were doing this?

Rod: Well I was a pizza delivery driver and I was in the National Guard and I did a little bit of a stint in college. It wasn’t really for me.

Jake: And so how did you break into the world of web development?

Rod: So I went to this really cool class I hear about through a buddy, It’s called Cloud Wise Academy. I went to the vocational school. You know there was a really awesome atmosphere, really great teachers, and got me on track to become an awesome developer.

Jake: Awesome. And so using the skills that you learned there, you were actually able to help the team here at Startup Weekend, this past weekend to win the whole competition. Can you tell me about that?

Rod: Yes I can. So the classes definitely help me get on track for this, and also you know my career afterward. Everything I learned in the classes prepared me for it. Startup Weekend, I built their website, I did their online marketing campaigns and all that kind of stuff that we do teach here now so.

Jake: So just to be clear you were able to actually take a business from conception to realization in a single weekend that has an online presence, is completely electronic turnkey ready. That’s great. Well thank you Rod. If someone is interested in Startup Weekend, how do they find out about that?

Rod: Go to to find out more. Thank you guys. Find out about Cloud Wise Academy here.

Being Found Show discusses Rod’s interview

Joe: OK, I apologize for the obvious plugs they were doing for Cloud Wise Academy. I asked them to make the video and they love the academy so much that they made sure that happened. The reason I wanted to show that video, I’m incredibly proud of  Rod and Jake. Incredibly proud. I wanted to highlight that this is all learnable. This is all doable. It’s our new reality, also it’s not as hard as people think. If you just pull back the curtain and commit to the ride. Jake, the one interviewing barely knew what a web browser was. They had never coded a single thing in their entire life. Didn’t even know what it was. Now they’re fully employed and doing this for a living and Rod is off winning competitions.

Chauncey: I think an interesting thing about the pair of them is they’re the opposite of what you’d expect. Rod came from being a pizza delivery guy, you would think he’d be a good project manager. Communicating with clients, which he is good at those things but he ended up being the super technical guy. Then here’s Jake who comes out of the Marines as a bomb defuser, you would think he would be the super technical guy and now he’s the project manager.  He’s out communicating with clients and kind of the face of the operation and it’s going to show you that you can change your focus to something different. You can find something new that you like to do.

Joe: Yeah there’s so many facets of this world. It’s not all about coding. Jake doesn’t code. I think he can he can fix things he goes and clicks things does things. He’s our project manager. He talks with clients and handles the office. So there’s just so much to the technical environment. For instance, Rod said he tried college but it wasn’t for him. College was not for me. I left school at 17 and I think I tried college and they kicked me out saying never come back. It’s not for everybody but there is nothing wrong with college. It’s just not for everybody. The really awesome thing is that this world is blowing up. There is always an opportunity if you do decide that you’re interested in the tech world record if you want to help businesses there is a place for you. These guys took six-week courses and they’re doing it now. They are on a new career path

Chauncey: There is tech outside of just hard-line infrastructure. If you want to work on wind turbines you’re looking at at least a six-week course to work on these things. Some tech jobs like networking and computer science may require a college degree but everything else seems to be moving way too fast for college curriculums to keep up with them.

Joe: That’s the thing it is moving too fast. I feel like the world finally caught up to my craziness because if you’re listening right now you probably see I do a radio show, I have a marketing company, a tech school, started Project Hometown and I own a couple online businesses. Some people I am sure people wonder “What does Joe do?” I don’t even know what to tell people I do for a living anymore. You don’t have to focus on being an engineer or you don’t have to spend your whole life learning one skill. You actually can let your creativity or your imagination run when you know how the games played. That’s what’s happening. I don’t think Rod or Jake ever imagined while they were taking the classes that their lives were going to change so much. They did it. They just grabbed on and they picked a new route and they seem to be where they belong.

Chauncey: You know Jake’s life is very much changed and yes he was very much happier with it.

Joe: Yeah. I don’t know if he’d rather deal with a customer or take a bomb apart. I don’t know which want either.

Joe: I don’t know if he’d rather deal with the kids or take a bomb apart because being a person with kids sometimes I have thought “man I wish I was defusing a bomb”

Joe: All right. Don’t send me letters.

Chauncey: Oh yeah. Anybody who sends a letter doesn’t have children or at least not very old yet. You haven’t been run through the ringer just yet.

Joe: I hope that we’re making sense of what the internet’s doing to your business. I hope we’re motivating you to go for it. Learn how the Internet impacts your business. We’re trying to give every single possible opportunity we can think of for our local business in Shasta County to be found and be available and help the Internet work for them.

You can go to to sign up. We have 12 high school kids and a bunch of partners who are ready to go to work for you. Whether it be building out your e-commerce site or your services website. We are doing everything we can to help Shasta County to succeed online.

Chauncey: Yeah I don’t know what more you can do. I mean do I have to chase you down or do I have to come to your house. Do I have to find out who you are and come to your house and say “Let me help you and your business to succeed online?”

Joe: I think that’s really the point. I mean that’s a great segue in the show. Customers are taking the responsibility to be good shoppers. Are you taking the responsibility of being a good seller and if not who is? It really is up to you to embrace the new reality which I call the e-commerce economy. It is our new economy and you’ve got to embrace it and you’ve got to sell the way your customers want to buy, it that simple. Thank you for listening to Being Found Show. check us out on Joe with Chauncey Haworth and we are signing off.

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